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Writing articles for magazines is definitely a dream for a lot of writers. This is because the pay is usually huge. Not only that, it can also offer exposure that can lead to more article writing projects. Below are the things that you need to learn in order to write amazing articles for magazines:

1. Make sure to choose a topic that you’re an expert on or you feel interested in.

You’ll most likely to produce high quality magazine articles if you choose topics that are included in your areas of expertise and areas of interest. Publishers always look for articles that contain in-depth information or those that are very authoritative. I would recommend that you list down all the things that you feel you’re very good at. Then, choose those ones that you can easily sell to different magazines.

2. Choose interesting angles.

You have better chances of getting your articles published if they’re very interesting. Study your chosen topic carefully and figure out the angles that were not yet discussed before and those that will grab your target audience by the throat. Also, make sure that you do not write about general topics. Publishers in general do not like articles that contain too many information that are not really useful or beneficial to their clients.

3. Research.

Even if you think that you know your chosen topic inside out, I am sure it wouldn’t hurt if you conduct research. This will surely allow you to get more useful and fresh information that can make your articles more informative and more valuable to the eyes of your target audience. Read relevant resources and if needed, interview other experts.

4. Create an outline.

Next step is to create a structure that you can follow when writing your articles. This must contain the ideas that you’re going to discuss on your introduction, article body, and conclusion. Decide if you’re going to add images, testimonials, and graphics.

5. Write your articles.

Unlike when writing news articles, you’re not required to follow specific structure or format when writing your magazine articles. You can be as creative as you want to be. To hook your readers, I suggest that you write using their language. It will also help if you strive to sound upbeat and warm all the time. Remember, your readers are reading magazine articles not just to get informed but to be entertained as well.

6. Check out the style sheet or guidelines of the magazines where you would like to submit your articles to.

Every magazine has its own list of instructions about the subjects, approach, and tone that you need to use. If these are not published, I would recommend that you read all the articles that were used by the magazines where you would like to submit your copies to. Doing this will surely give you a clear idea as to what exactly they’re looking for.

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How to Write a Magazine Article

Last Updated: February 28, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 12 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 914,753 times.

Magazine articles can be a big boost for seasoned freelance writers or writers who are trying to jump-start their writing careers. In fact, there are no clear qualifications required for writing magazine articles except for a strong writing voice, a passion for research, and the ability to target your article pitches to the right publications. Though it may seem like magazines may be fading in the digital age, national magazines continue to thrive and can pay their writers $1 a word. [1] X Research source To write a good magazine article, you should focus on generating strong article ideas and crafting and revising the article with high attention to detail.

Generating Article Ideas

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Crafting the Article

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Revising the Article

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Sample Articles

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Expert Q&A

Gerald Posner

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Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about writing an article, check out our in-depth interview with Gerald Posner .

About This Article

Gerald Posner

To write a magazine article, start by researching your topic and interviewing experts in the field. Next, create an outline of the main points you want to cover so you don’t go off topic. Then, start the article with a hook that will grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading. As you write, incorporate quotes from your research, but be careful to stick to your editor’s word count, such as 500 words for a small article or 2,000 words for a feature. Finally, conclude with a statement that expands on your topic, but leaves the reader wanting to learn more. For tips on how to smoothly navigate the revision process with an editor, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules

Knowledge Base > Magazines > How to Write a Magazine Article? 12 Golden Rules

write magazine article

Although the number of magazines is shrinking in the digital age, many magazines have moved online. Many magazines created with online magazine maker are still popular, and authors enjoy fame and respect. That’s why, for many freelance writers, writing articles in magazines is often a career goal – because the pay can be ten times more per word than writing articles or texts for the local newspaper.

Writing magazine articles requires a different skill set than writing blog posts, screenplays, or advertisements. What’s more, as a magazine writer, more than in any other industry, you need to specialize to succeed. You write articles about history differently, sports differently, and sports history in a different way still.

A talent for writing, a love of meticulous research, and flexibility in creating texts are vital skills you need to master. Therefore, many people are interested in creating and publishing their own magazine need to master this specific style and learn how to write a magazine article.

What is a magazine article?

What is a magazine.

A magazine is a publication that is a collection of articles that appears regularly. The magazine articles can be about any topic, as well as topics that interest a specific group, such as sports fans, music fans, or board game enthusiasts.

A magazine can be published weekly, monthly, bimonthly, or only a few times a year. Most magazines are published once a week or once a month. Most magazine articles do not have a list of sources and are written by regular magazine editors and writers, rarely freelance writers.

what is a magazine

Most magazine articles are easy to read and don’t take too long to read. They are often illustrated with photos or other images. Today, magazines are increasingly being replaced by websites, but there are still many magazines on various topics.

A magazine article is a specific text that can be found in a magazine or newspaper. It can be a report, a profile of an important person, an opinion piece, a discussion of a topic or a personal essay. Depending on the topic, a magazine article is usually 1,000 to 5,000 words long.

The magazine usually employs a group of editors who come up with a theme for each issue and relevant article ideas. This way, all the articles and features in the issue will have something in common. A sports magazine might talk about the start of a new season, a political magazine about an upcoming election, and a Valentine’s Day issue might be about romance.

magazine article mock up

How the format of a magazine article differs from that of a newspaper or other articles? In a newspaper that comes out every day, put the most important parts of the story first. Newspaper articles are usually read once and aren’t supposed to influence anyone. It has to be news, something you want to read.

On the other hand, a good magazine article should often start with a mystery, a question, or a situation that makes the reader want to read on. Daily newspaper articles should be unbiased descriptions of what happened, while magazine articles, often subjective, can cover a particular topic from a certain angle. To learn how to write a magazine article, you need to know what the magazine is about and how to appeal to its readers.

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Types and examples of magazine articles

Magazine editors categorize articles by type and often mention them in publication’s submission guidelines, so knowing these types by name will help you communicate with the editor. These are: First Person Article, Opinion Piece, Information or Service Piece, Personality Profile, and Think Piece. Many news articles, how-to articles, and reviews can also be found in magazines, but they are slightly different, and many of these have moved online, to digital magazines . Articles can also feature essays or humor pieces.

magazine reading

First Person Article

First-person magazine articles are written in the first person because they are based on personal experience. Depending on their length and newsworthiness, they can be sold as feature articles or essays. They are frequently personal accounts, especially interesting if they are written by a well-known magazine writer or celebrity. Typically, the purpose of such an article is stated in the first line or paragraph to hook the magazine’s target audience, such as “I voted for this politician, and now I regret my life choices.” When you write a magazine article like this one, you should present an unpopular or overlooked point of view from a fresh perspective.

Opinion Piece

This kind of magazine writing piece or opinion essay is less personal than the First-Person Article, but it still requires a narrow focus on a specific topic. The reader’s main question is, “Why are you qualified to render an opinion?” Everyone has an opinion, but why should anyone read yours?

If you’re an expert on this subject, let the reader know right away. Don’t criticize music trends if you’re not a musician! Demonstrate your knowledge, and support your opinion with up-to-date information and credentials.

Information/Service Piece

An informational or service piece expands the reader’s understanding of a particular subject. This can be a guide, a list of important issues. You can either be the expert or interview one. These are extremely pertinent to a specific industry. In a sports magazine article, you can explain a complete history of a sports team and its roster for the upcoming season.

You can expect some in-depth knowledge if the article title contains the phrases like Myths about or Secrets of. Explain everything you know: magazine journalism is different than being a freelance writer in that you should have some industry knowledge already.

Personality profile

This type of magazine article can present a silhouette of an important or relevant person – a politician, a political activist, a sports legend… If you’re writing for a video game magazine you can showcase a famous game designer or even an entire article can be about a game character like Lara Croft or Guybrush Threepwood, if the fictional character is detailed enough! Explain why readers will find this person interesting or noteworthy.

Think Piece

Written in an investigative tone, the think piece frequently shows the downside or less popular ideas of a popular industry aspect. This magazine article could also explain why something is popular or why a political party lost elections. A think piece is more in-depth than most feature articles and necessitates credibility. Confirm your thesis by interviewing analysts and experts.

How to start a magazine article?

Most creative writing professionals would agree that the best way to start writing a magazine article is with a strong opening sentence. A feature article must draw the attention of your target audience, and grab them from the go.

You can start by asking the reader a question which you will answer in the text of the article – for instance “Did you know that most users of Windows never use 80% of their functions – and that’s a good thing?”. In the content of your magazine articles you will be able to answer this question.

Another example of a good magazine article beginning is storytelling – human brains are fascinated by stories. Starting your example with “20 years ago no one in the industry knew what a genitine was, but now their inventor is one of the most influential people” can draw attention and spike up curiosity.


A great example is also a shocking quote – a compelling idea that goes against the grain is sure to capture the reader’s attention.

Most creative magazine article ideas

Even the most experienced journalists can often be looking for ideas for great articles. How to write a magazine article if you don’t have the slightest idea? Here are some of our suggestions:

Take a look at your specialty. If you’re a freelance writer, it’s a good idea to write about what you know. Delve into a topic thoroughly, and you’ll eventually find your niche and you might move from freelance writing jobs to magazine writing! Why? Having a writing specialty will make magazine editors think of you when story ideas in that genre come up.

Check out what’s trending. When browsing popular stories on social networks, many freelancers choose to write about current events. Lists of popular articles can help you understand what to focus your efforts on. Keep in mind that an article for national magazines needs to be well researched, and what’s trending now may change before the magazine finally comes out.

Reach out to the classics. Nostalgia always sells well. You can go back to books or movies that people remember from their youth or, for example, summarize the last year. Lists and numbers always look good!

12 rules on how to write great magazine articles

magazine making

1. Write what you know about

If your articles are really fascinating and you know what you are writing about, you have a better chance of getting published, whether in a local newspaper or in a major magazine. Writing requires researching your chosen issue thoroughly. Identify perspectives that have not been explored before – describe something from the perspective of a woman, a minority, or a worker.

2. Research how you should write

Check the writing style requirements or guidelines of the magazines to which you want to submit your work. Each magazine has its own set of guidelines on what topics, manner and tone to use. Check out Strunk and White Elements of Style for tips on writing styles, as this is what many magazines draw from.

3. Remember to be flexible

One of the most valuable writing talents a journalist can possess is flexibility. You may find that you discover completely new facts while writing a magazine article and completely change your approach. Maybe you’ll change your mind 180 degrees and instead of attacking someone, you’ll defend them – anything to attract attention.

4. Make connections and meet people

Networking is important in any business, especially for freelance writers who want to make a jump to magazine writing. Editors regularly quit one magazine to work for another. Therefore, remember to know the people first and foremost than the magazine they work for.

5. Prepare a query letter

A query letter tells the editors why your magazine article is important, whether you think someone will want to read it and why you feel obligated to write it. Add to it a text sample and some information about yourself as a writer. Even a local magazine might not be aware of who you are, after all.

6. Prepare an outline

Always before writing a text have an outline that you can use when composing your articles. It must contain the important ideas, the content of the article body and the summary, the points you will include in it. You will find that it is easier to fill such a framework with your own content.

7. Meet the experts

You need to know pundits in your industry. There are several methods of locating experts, from networking to calling organizations or agencies in your field of interest. If you want to meet a police officer, call the police station and ask if someone could talk to a journalist – many people are tempted if you promise them a feature article.

8. Talk to experts

Once you get a contact for an expert, do your best to make the expert look as good as possible. The more prominent the expert, the better your text. Make a list of questions in advance and compare it with the outline to make sure you don’t forget anything. Remember to accurately describe your expert’s achievements and personal data.

9. Create a memorable title

This step can occur at any point in the process of writing an article for a magazine. Sometimes the whole article starts with a good title! However, there is nothing wrong with waiting until the article is finished before coming up with a title. The most important thing is that the title is catchy – editors-in-chief love that!

10. To write, you have to read

You never know where you will come across an inspiring text. It’s your duty as a good writer to read everything that falls into your hands, whether it’s articles on the front pages of major publications or small blog posts. Learn about the various issues that may be useful to your magazine writing skills.

11. Add a strong ending

End with a strong concluding remark that informs or elaborates on the theme of your piece. The last paragraph should make the reader satisfied, but also curious about the future progress of the issue. He must wonder “what’s next?” and answer the important questions himself.

12. Don’t give up

Writers are rejected hundreds of times, especially when they are initially learning how to create articles for magazines. However, even a seasoned freelance writer and professional journalist can get rejected. The most successful authors simply keep writing – being rejected is part of magazine writing. Freelance writing is a good school of writing career – including coping with rejection.

Now you know how to write a magazine article that will be engaging and interesting. Despite the digitalization of the market, writing magazine articles still offers many possibilities to a freelance writer or a seasoned professional. The market of press and magazines is evolving fast, but the basic principles of journalistic integrity stay the same!

You may be also interested in:

How To Publish Digital Magazine? How to Make a Magazine Cover With a Template? 5 Reasons to Start Using a Magazine Maker

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How to Write a Magazine Article Editors Will Love

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One thing I learned early in my freelance writing career is that, in order to gain experience and traction, I had to step out of my wheelhouse from time to time.

As a writer, I love writing blog content!

Especially for my sites where I can share information and stories to really connect with my audience.

How to Write a Magazine Article Editors Will Love

But I’ve also written all different kinds of content and quickly learned that sometimes the content we write as freelance writers can be as different as apples and oranges.

For instance, writing a magazine article is vastly different from writing a blog post.

For that reason, if you are interested in writing for publications instead of websites, you need to know what editors are looking for.

Editors are the head honchos who receive pitches and vet content for publications.

If you’re wanting to learn how to write a magazine article for such publications as Reader’s Digest, for example, you can’t pitch them the same articles as you would for a blog post.

So how do you write a magazine article that editors will love? I’m glad you asked!

Because in this post, I’m going to show you the differences between blogs and magazines, the different types of magazine articles you can write, and how to write one that editors can’t ignore.

Ready? Let’s go!

How is Writing For a Magazine or Publication Different From Writing For a Blog?

With so much content out there that can be written by freelance writers, it’s hard to distinguish the differences – especially between magazines articles and blog articles.

The biggest difference between the two is that blog posts are published on blogs while articles are published, well, everywhere else!

This can include printed publications such as newspapers or online content for online magazines .

There’s also a difference in the writing styles as well. Blog posts are generally written with shorter paragraphs to make it easier to read on a computer or phone screen.

Plus, blog readers are notorious skimmers and are generally checking out content to get an idea or answer a question.

Magazine articles tend to be more in-depth with readers purposely sitting down to read something lengthy and informative.

Speaking of length, blog posts are generally anywhere between 500-2000 words while magazine articles can top 5000 words or more.

Language-wise, a blog post is more informal and sometimes includes more personality and slang while magazine articles are more formal.

Understanding the differences is key to knowing how to write an article that editors will love!

Magazine Article Template to Use

It’s a good idea to understand the magazine article layout template before pitching to magazines. To help you, I created an article outline template you can use when you start pitching to magazines.

how to write a magazine article about someone

In the magazine article template I listed out the parts of a typical magazine article with the information you need to write this article.

For example, understanding the differences between a nut graph and a lede can help you create the right pitch for an article, since some magazine want the fleshed out article or parts of your article.

To learn more about how to write an article, check out the next section where I go through important tips to help you be successful when you send your magazine pitch.

How to Write a Magazine Article

Writing articles for magazines can be extremely lucrative for freelance writers , since many publications will may more for content than a website or blog.

However, in order to make money and get published, you need to know how to write an article that editors will get excited for an accept!

Here are some tips for writing an article for a magazine or publication.

1. Target Your Pitches

Just like any other freelance writing job, you need to pitch your article idea to magazine and publication editors. Most importantly, however, you need to make sure you are pitching an appropriate topic.

If you’re trying to pitch a scientific article to a magazine about travel, for example, your query letter will likely be ignored.

Before you pitch to a publication or an editor, take the time to look at their content. Get a feel for the types of articles they publish and check out their submission guidelines.

And don’t be discouraged if you’re pitch isn’t accepted – simply by pitching, you are engaging with an editor and beginning a relationship.

2. Write an Article Summary Outline

If you research, “How to write a summary of an article,” you’ll likely get results referring to summarizing existing articles for academic purposes.

When it comes to writing an article editors will love, it’s all about organizing your content to ensure it is informative and easy to read.

Writing an article summary is a great way to structure your article when you beginning to write your article.

It’s also great to have on hand when pitching to editors since you can pare it down when you send along your pitch.

In order to write an article summary, start by jotting down your main thoughts. Oftentimes, these can be used for the headings and subheadings of your article.

Once you have your headings established, write down key points and statements for each while taking note of areas that are going to require research (which I’ll talk about in the next step).

Yes, this is kind of like an outline but you’re adding in more than headings and bullet points so that, in the end, you have a summary of what your article is about.

3. Research…Then Research Some More

No matter the type of article you are writing, you need to back up your claims and opinions with research such as statistics, quotes, or other sources of information.

There’s no harm in over-researching and gathering more resources than you actually need for your article.

This way, when it’s time to expand your article summary into a full-blown piece, you have enough substantive facts to validate your story.

Editors want informative and provocative pieces but they are also looking for something that is rooted in fact. They’re likely not interested in posting your thoughts if you don’t have any research to back them up.

4. Think About the Magazine’s Target Audience

Magazines depend entirely upon their readers – it’s the whole reason why they exist!

Editors know and understand their readers very well and curate content that speaks directly to them – not only about topics they are interested in but also in their language.

For instance, you could aim to write for popular magazines such as Cosmo or Vogue but you can’t populate your content with technical words and concepts.

These readers want something quick and easy to digest, which also means not a 5,000 word article.

This is why it’s important to get to know the magazine’s target audience almost as well as the editor knows them. This way, you’ll not only know what kind of topics to write about but also what kind of voice and tone to use in your writing.

5. Write an Attention-Grabbing Title

When it comes to how to write a magazine article, this step can happen anytime during the process. Sometimes the entirety of a great article starts with a catchy title!

But there’s nothing wrong with waiting until the article is written to come up with a headline. The important thing is that the title is attention-grabbing – editors love this!

For my article template I decided to write a lifestyle title for a lifestyle magazine such as Cosmopolitan.

I decided to pair two things that aren’t always related to each other: crystals and relationships.

So what makes a good magazine headline? Let’s look at some tips to help you out:

Types of Magazine Articles

Now that you know how to write an article, let’s look at the type of magazine articles you can pitch to editors!

Informational Pieces

Informational pieces offer knowledge to the reader through well-researched content. These articles are typically fact-driven and educational, informing readers about things that will affect their lives.

They can also serve to explain a trend or dispel misunderstandings.

Informational pieces are best written for industry-specific publications or publications that focus on specific organizations or groups.

An example of a publication or magazine that has these types of informational magazine articles, is Writer’s Digest .

how to write a magazine article about someone

How-To Articles

A how-to article outlines a step-by-step explanation of a process. When writing how-to articles, it’s important to assume that the reader does not understand how to do something, which is why you are showing them how.

This can be done by avoiding specific language related to your trade or expertise in order to make your article relatable to people of all backgrounds.

You can also include anecdotes to illustrate points and address any common mistakes made during the process you are explaining.

First-Person Pieces

First-person articles are written from personal experience and typically in first-person form. This means that instead of merely providing information, you are telling a story from your perspective using words such as “I”, “me”, etc.

Because you are recounting a personal story, it’s important to draw the reader into your experience. You can do this by using sensory details such as touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound.

However, you want to make sure you telling a story with a point that will show the readers a realization or discovery.

If you’re interested in writing a first-person piece, here are some ideas to get you started:

First-person pieces can be really fun to write but, unless you are providing value to the reader, they can be difficult to have accepted by editors.

Think about the experience you want to write about and how it can relate to the readers of the publication you are pitching to.

An example to see this is Motherboard’s article on an eating disorder movie.

how to write a magazine article about someone

Article Reviews

In the world of academics, article reviews are a well-structured presentation of arguments – mainly referring to other pieces of work or literature in a particular field of study. Article reviews are usually presented through summary, classification, analysis, and comparison.

So what does that have to do with writing for magazines? Is there any point to knowing how to write an article review?

Depending on the niche you write for, article reviews are very popular – especially in the world of science and technology. You can write reviews of other articles and research papers in a way that is more easily digestable for a broader audience.

Article reviews use theories, ideas, and research to evaluate the work of others. You can write a review article in favor of someone else’s theory or idea or you can write something in opposition.

You can present new information or simply respond to another writer’s work – the choice is yours!

Opinion Pieces

Even though you can write an opinion piece in the first-person narrative, an actual opinion piece is typically less personal. These articles are more journalistic in nature, answering the “5 Why’s and H”: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?

To make an opinion pieces more attractive to editors and more relevant to their target audience, add the question: “Who cares?”

When choosing a topic, keep in mind that the readers are going to scrutinize whether or not you qualified to offer the opinion you are writing about. In other words, we all have opinions – why should the readers care about yours?

Always state your expertise when writing an opinion piece in order to build trust with the reader. This is another thing editors will love!

To see an example of an opinionated magazine article, check out this one from Wired .

how to write a magazine article about someone

Think Pieces

Think pieces are more investigative in tone and often show the downside of a particular trend, whether it’s fashion, sports, politics, etc.

These types of article dig deeper than an informational piece and often includes interviews with experts in order to establish credibility of the information being presented.

Think pieces are provocative and well-researched and inspire readers to really think about the adopting a different perspective on the topic.

Go Wow Some Editors!

Knowing how to write an article that editors will love is a great first step to adding magazine writing to your freelance portfolio !

But I’m curious: Have you ever written for a magazine or publication? I’d love to hear your stories about writing magazine articles and getting accepted by publications!

Share them in the comments below!

Share this post with your friends!

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How to Write a Feature Article for a Magazine

A feature article is the main story in the magazine that focuses on a special event, place or person in great detail.

There are many types of feature articles, whether they’re creatively focused or newsworthy, however, they always have one thing in common: human interest.

Writing feature articles for magazines (and newspapers) is a great way for emerging writers and authors to build up their portfolio of work.

However, there are many different elements to magazine writing and publishing that the feature writer needs to consider.

We’ve put together a little guide on what to research and what to include when it comes to writing a high quality feature article…

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Know the Publication:

Remember that each publication has a specific target audience, and a distinct style of writing. For example, if you’re writing for a well-known magazine such as the  Women’s Weekly  the article needs to focus on an emotional level, using pictures and quotes that reflect the reader’s thought on everyday life.

However, if you’re writing for a small independent magazine like  The Morning Bell  the style is more flexible, you have a lot more freedom in terms of subject matter, just as long as the content is clear and appropriate to the magazine’s theme.

Also depending on the publication, not all magazines concentrate on trends and current events; those are mostly for weekly or daily magazines.

There are publications that print annually, quarterly, bi-monthly, or monthly, which in these cases, trends are less of a focus because trends have come and gone by the time the mag goes to print.

So what do magazines focus on if not recent issues? Usually, the magazine has a theme to base their stories on.

For example, Australian literary journal,  Kill Your Darlings , focuses on commentary essays, politics and reviews.

One issue could be about the Australian Government and another on memoir; the main feature article details this theme in depth.

Get to know the magazine and what kind of content they publish; we strongly suggest reading their previous articles before submitting one of your own.

Look through the publication’s submission guidelines and identify aspects of their house style in their published content.

When you’re ready, here’s a step-by-step process in creating a feature article that will impress.

Mission for Story and the Publication:

Some magazines will give you a topic for you to research and write about, but if you’re submitting toa magazine then you’ll probably have to pitch one yourself.

This is where you’re able to brainstorm ideas and define what area you would like to write about.

However, this is no simple task because the piece you are writing has to be detailed and must provide examples and evidence along with the facts you’re providing.


To be able to work as a freelance writer , the writer is self-employed, also known as a contractor. They can write for one or more publications at the same time and are paid per article or per word.

Though freelancing technically allows you the freedom to write for whatever publications you’d like – writers must be wary of the fact that more and more companies are out-sourcing their content production, and so freelancers nowadays (especially new freelancers) must take the jobs they can get.

Extensive research will still be a major part of your job, and depending on how you’re getting paid (per word, per article or per hour) you need to be cautious of how you spend your time.

Freelancers are in charge of their own invoicing and tax. However, one of the much-loved benefits of freelancing is the fact that these writers get to work at their own pace, on their own schedule.

Some magazines or websites have employees who write for them within a team.

If you’re an in-house writer, you’ll most likely have a topics assigned to you, or you’ll at least receive a brief.

Your work will be passed to editors who will give you feedback on how to improve the article.

Usually the team and you will have regular meetings to decide on future content scheduling and subject matter.

During content meetings the writers usually brainstorm ideas for articles, and present statistics and research that will benefit the publication.

A good idea is to explore what people are reading about at the time you’re writing. Is it interesting enough to write about?

Look at the news; is an event powerful enough for a main article? Search your local community and what’s been happening. Is it newsworthy?

As author of Writer’s Digest, Chuck Sambuchino said:

The idea’s the thing. If you build your story around a unique and compelling idea, your odds of publishing it increase dramatically . Often, a perfectly good project will go unpublished because the premise on which it is based is too predictable, commonplace, or over-published.”

Once you’ve chosen your idea, proper research will cover the bones of your story with lots of meat and soul. Just gather information.

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The Mean Old Structure:

Like other articles, the feature has a basic structure.

The shape depends on the style of your magazine varies but most feature articles have three acts, just like a story or an essay.

It has a headline, an introduction; forming as one, then a main body and a conclusion.

Structure is very important when telling a story, especially for a feature article, it is what holds the piece together clearly.

Without structure, the article will fall apart and the readers will become confused and disinterested.

As writer, Robert Frost said, “if there is no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader; there is no surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

To clarify the structure, we’ll break it down in more detail.

Cheers to the Headline:

Probably one of the important tasks of writing a feature article for a magazine is coming up with an effective headline.

This is a short and simple line that grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to read the piece.

A headline means to highlight the central idea of the article in a catchy, clever way.

The editor of the magazine always has the final say in what the headline says, though the writer comes up with a number of options for the editor to choose from.

Hello, Introduction:

Think of this as a preview to the rest of your feature article.

It ‘introduces’ the ideas you’re about to explore and as a general rule, is about 10% of the overall word count.

The introduction draws the reader in from the headline and provokes their interest by injecting a good dose of intrigue and speculation.

With the introduction the reader makes a conscious decision on what side of the story they believe in or whether it’s interesting enough to keep reading.

The introduction needs to be compelling enough that it is seen at a publishable standard.

Make the editor think it’s worthy; sell it to them so they can sell it to the reader.

Not only does it create the article’s tone it also establishes a relationship between the reader and the writer.

Main Body Magnetism:

This is where all the details of who, what, why and how are revealed.

It is the explanation and the proof. Include all your facts, statistics, and quotes to support your argument.

This is where all your hard-earned work pays off by resulting in a compelling and accurate piece.

Depending on the publication, some magazines require their writers to supply original images or photographs as well.

The Finishing Touch:

A conclusion is the final statement that brings together all your ideas and evidence.

Conclusions need to be strong, concise and thought-provoking, inviting the reader’s opinion.

The writer, the editor and the publisher don’t want the conversation to end at the full-stop of the feature article.

The best feature articles encourage the continuation of debate on social media platforms, comment pages and discussion forums.

Belle Savage

Belle Savage is an aspiring creative writer from Melbourne, Currently studying a Bachelor of Writing and Publishing, she likes to write novels, nonfiction articles and screenplays. She writes about realistic or psychological events and uses themes of grief, abandonment and abuse.

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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Magazine Writing Skills

How do you write a magazine article? These tips will give you the confidence you need to write for magazines, submit query letters to editors, and get your writing published. Even if your goal isn’t to become a successful freelance writer, you will benefit from these simple ways to improve your magazine writing skills.

These aren’t “secret tips” on how to get your article published in a magazine – because there are no secrets for writing articles and getting published. Writing for magazines is much simpler than you think. Simple, but not easy . These tips worked for me when I started freelance writing over a decade ago, and they still work for me today. In fact, I have an article due to alive magazine in three business days. It’s about brain health and my recent trip to Nepal – which is a perfect start to my new life as a travel blogger. In fact, I just wrote an article about how to write travel articles for magazines .

Let’s start easy, with the foundational tip on how to write a magazine article. “Show, don’t tell.” Why start there? Because nobody does it! Most writers want to express their thoughts and show how much they know (or think they know). If you’re one of those rare writers who simply reports the facts in an interesting, engaging and clear manner then you’re already halfway to getting your magazine article published.

“Never tell your readers what they should think about something. You may write about amazing things, but never tell them that something is going to be amazing,” says William Zinsser in On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction . “Just lay out the facts and let the reader say, ‘Wow! Imagine that!'”

How to Write a Good Magazine Article

Zinsser’s advice means you shouldn’t add commentary to your articles – especially if you’re writing for a magazine. You can tell readers what you think in blog posts, newsletters, and your Facebook updates. But when you’re writing a magazine article, think “just the facts, ma’am.” Show, don’t tell. Describe, don’t opine.

How to Write a Good Magazine Article

Part of learning how to write a magazine article is decided what type of article you’re writing and who you are writing for. Read 11 Most Popular Types of Magazine Articles – Print & Online . I’ll wait here.

1. Learn the difference between “subject” and “story”

The fact that Anne Lamott or Stephen King both wrote books about writing is a subject . How Anne Lamott and Stephen King fought to get their books published is a story . What’s the difference between subject and story? Conflict. Suspense. Drama. Problems. Growth. Here’s another – better – example: “The cat is lying on her mat” is a fact. The story comes alive when “The dog and the cat both want to lie on the mat.” Knowing the difference between a subject and a story one of the most important tips on how to write a magazine article. Even nonfiction articles contain the threads of a story.

If you’re learning how to write magazine articles because you want to become a freelance writer, train yourself how to find stories. One of the more interesting ways to do this is to find temporary work stints in an office, museum, or coffee shop. You’ll find that being around regular people can will help you see and even write stories that can easily become publishable magazine articles. And, since freelance writing isn’t lucrative for beginners, the extra income will help you cope with the financial insecurities. Successful freelancers are most creative when they get away from their laptops, generate new article ideas, find inspiration, and even plan career moves and pivots. Getting paid to be out of the house is a great way to keep your creative juices flowing!

2. Don’t opine (give your opinion). Just write the article

This is a follow-up to the first tip on how to write a magazine article: don’t tell us what you think because – unless you are Anne Lamott or Stephen King and we’re a bunch of geeky writers – we don’t care. “Unless you are a recognized expert, your opinion is not relevant,” writes author Don McKinney in Magazine Writing That Sells . “To support your points, quote real experts.”

My Reader’s Digest editor also repeatedly gave me this writing advice. This is why I not only mentioned it before my tips on how to get a magazine article published, but am expanding on it now. I myself am still learning how to just tell or write a story instead of trying to explain every nuance to the reader.

How do you know if you’re over-explaining or overwriting? After all, you’re just beginning to learn how to write a magazine article! Here’s a tip: Reread and edit your past work. Don’t let your past articles, blog posts, book chapters, newsletter entries or editorial just sit there. Read them carefully and critically. How can you improve on your writing? What can you do to make it into a publishable magazine article? Challenge yourself. You’ll become a better writer.

3. Do extra research – especially when you’re still learning how to write a magazine article

It’s better to do too much research and have more information than you can include when you write your magazine article. Here are two reasons why:

The more you practice writing articles for magazines, the better you’ll get at discerning how much information is “too much.”

4. Relax. There is no one “right” way to write a magazine article

While there aren’t any perfect, right or best ways to write good magazine articles, it’s important to remember the first sentence. The beginning of your magazine article can be the most frustrating and time-consuming part of writing. My first paragraphs and headline (article title) take more time that writing the whole article or blog post. This is because the lead or lede – the first sentence of your article or the introduction – is the most important. That, and the ending. Why? Because the lead is what will either hook your reader or leave her cold. If she’s cold, she doesn’t care about reading your work. Then all the time you spent learning how to write a magazine article was wasted! Unless, of course, you’re writing for your teacher or mom.

The best lead or introduction grabs the reader’s attention and forces her to read your whole entire article, start to finish. Here’s the problem with this “simple” writing tip: How do you know what will grab your reader’s attention? What captures my attention may not capture yours.

5. Don’t let rejection stop you from writing your best article

Here’s what I had to learn when I first started freelance writing for magazines: Writers get rejected dozens of times – especially when they’re first learning how to write articles for magazines. But even experienced freelancers and professional journalists get rejected. Not every query letter sells, not every pitch is sold, and not every magazine article is published.

How Do You Write a Magazine Article?

The best writers do not associate rejection with themselves. That is, successful freelance writers know getting rejected is part of the game. And writing is a game! It’s fun to be a writer, so have fun with it. It’s even more fun to be a blogger, so have even more fun with writing blog posts. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn how to write good magazine articles, but loosen your collar. Ungrip your hands. Maybe even take them off the steering wheel. Do the best you can to write good articles for magazines and other media outlets, then let your writing go.

Do you want to get an article published in one of the most popular magazines in the world? Read How to Get Your Articles Published in Reader’s Digest .

6. Don’t even think about writer’s block

Jack London said something like, “Writer’s block? Writing inspiration? I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at 9 am.” Now that is a professional freelance writer who knows how to write magazine articles, books, blog posts and feature profiles.

Do you struggle with writer’s block? Here’s a writing tip: Stop writing while the writing is going well. Leave the paragraphs and sentences you know will come easily for tomorrow, or your next writing stint. For example, don’t stop writing when you come to a natural conclusion. Instead, stop writing when you know what’s coming next and you’re eager to continue. Some famous author even advised writers to stop writing in the middle of a

7. Remember who you’re writing for

“Even before writing the query, remember who you’re talking to,” writes McKinney in Magazine Writing That Sells . “At every stage of the process, from query to finished manuscript, remember three little words: Audience. Audience. Audience.” That’s a key tip on how to write a magazine article . Who are your readers? What are their pain points, fascinations, obsessions, yearnings? Knowing who you’re writing for will help you write better.

A great way to learn how to write for different readers is to read print newspapers and magazines. Vancouver-based freelance writer Daniel Wood encouraged writers to clip newspaper articles when they resonate with you. When a piece of writing stands out to you in some way, keep it close. Study it. Analyzing print writing will teach you how to write good magazine and newspaper articles. I enjoy reading the Vancouver Sun newspaper, but I have turned down article assignments from the editors. They don’t pay well. Nevertheless, reading the local paper or any new-to-you magazine or print publication is a great way to keep your writing fresh and remind yourself who your primary readers are.

8. Remember that good magazine articles start with the first sentence (or even the first word!)

Circling back on my fourth tip on how to write a magazine article: If you’re struggling with the introduction or lead, think about how you’d tell your story to a friend. Describe it in your own words, out loud, in your own voice. What are the most impressive things about your story? The one fact or event that stands out may be a good lead.

“If it’s the first thing you’d tell a friend, maybe it should be the first thing you’d tell a reader,” writes McKinney in Magazine Writing That Sells . Start with the most important, compelling, interesting information first. If you struggle with the beginning of your articles, read How to Write the Best Introduction for Your Readers .

9. Use different sentence lengths for different tones and moods

This isn’t just a tip on how to write a magazine article, it’s a general tip for good writing. Your writing should match the tone or mood of your piece. If you’re describing quick or abrupt action, for example, use short, punchy sentences. If you’re describing how the long green grass is swaying in the field, use longer sentences that flow. Also, don’t forget to vary the length of your sentences and type of punctuation you use! I gets boring to read the same style of writing, even if it’s just a 500 word magazine article.

How do you learn how to write better articles? Start a blog! When I first started freelancing I didn’t know if I should create a website. I eventually did, and called it The Adventurous Writer . Do you have a blog or website? Blogging is a fantastic way to learn how to write magazine articles; not only does it give you writing practice, it validates you as a publishable freelance writer. Your own blog or website is where magazine editors, experts you want to interview, and your own readers can learn more about you as a writer. After I created The Adventurous Writer I started my blogs, one right after the other. And, if you learn how to monetize your blog, it can be a good source of passive income.

Your own blog is worth the investment of your time and energy – especially if you’re serious about learning how to write magazine articles, get published, and become a successful freelance writer.

10. Help your interviewees sound good

My final tip on how to write a good magazine article involves interviewing experts or sources. Direct quotes or dialogue is a fantastic way to bring your story to life! Interviewing experts or regular folk is good for at least two reasons:

A word on how to write what an interviewee said to you: “No article has ever been published in which every word spoken is printed exactly as it was said,” writes McKinney. “You can cut. You can rewrite if necessary to make the speaker’s meaning more clear. You can rearrange the order in which the words were spoken – but you can never, never distort the meaning.”

How Do You Write a Good Magazine Article

If you want to get published quickly, read The Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks by Susan Shapiro. Shapiro is a writing professor who has taught more than 25,000 students of all ages and backgrounds at schools such as New York University, Columbia, Temple, The New School, and Harvard University. In The Byline Bible she describes her wildly popular “Instant Gratification Takes Too Long” technique that helps writers get their magazine articles published quickly.

Your turn! Why are you looking for tips on how to write a magazine article? Is it a school assignment, or do you want to be a freelance writer?

If you’re hoping to make money writing, know what writers get paid. Read Freelance Writing Pay Rates for Newspaper and Magazine Articles .

Uprooted She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik Kienlen

Need encouragement? Stay in touch! Get my free weekly email

11 thoughts on “10 simple ways to improve your magazine writing skills”.

Here’s another freelance writing tip, from the author of five books and numerous articles:

Recycle, recycle, recycle. Make your articles go farther by reworking them for different publications. For example, I wrote an article on swaddling twin babies for a national magazine for parents of twins. Then I cut down the article and removed the product reviews for an online column I write about twins and multiples. After that, I took out the “twins angle” and generalized the article to include all babies for publication in a pediatric newsletter. I even recorded a podcast about swaddling! With just a little bit of work, I was able to use the same research in four different ways.

– Susan Heim

Excellent tips as always, Laurie! Practical and honestly, not the ones I’ve heard so often before. I am a BIG believer in trust your editor/s. I have learnt SO much from listening to what they had to say and then, applying that feedback to my writing. In fact, today, when I have clients return and compliment me on my writing, I send out a silent prayer of thanks to all my editors.

Lots of good tips for improving your magazine writing skills, thank you Laurie. My advice for new freelancers: tackle one tip at a time. Do it really well, then move on to the next. If you try to improve your writing with all these different tips at once you’ll feel overwhelmed. Just my 2 cents 🙂 Charlotte

Thank you, I’ll share these tips on how to write a magazine article with my journalism students. I saw you were a journalism teacher, and appreciate your knowledge.

Here is what I tell my students who want to be freelance magazine writers. Always pay attention to new writing opportunities that are waiting in the wings. It could be an opportunity to take your writing career in a whole new direction! If you’re a niche or trade writer, try looking for online writing markets outside your speciality. If you’ve tapped out the online market, try exploring different types of passive income such as monetizing your blog or writing ebooks. The more diversified you are as a writer, the less likely those stints between article assignments will affect you. Use those quiet moments to “think outside the box.”

I was a freelance writer and blogger for five years until I started to teach journalism. The more my students write in their journals and blogs, the better they get at writing magazines articles.

It took me a few months, but I finally wrote an article about doing interviews!

Here’s the link:

10 Tips for Interviewing Sources for Articles https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/10-tips-for-interviewing-sources-for-articles/

All best, Laurie .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..10 Tips for Interviewing Sources for Articles =-.

Hy, thank you for the details it really worked. Now I could easily write an essay for any magazine. The points are really helpful I had read an article before on EassyMin that also helped me.

Good tips there. My favorites are “Sleep on it” and “Ask the right questions”. I wouldn’t mind more tips on doing interviews.

Whether you write in third or first person depends on who you’re writing for. Some magazines, newspapers, or blogs welcome first person reviews, while others prefer the more objective third person. So, I think you need to adjust your perspective according to the publication and readers ship.

Good luck with the article!

Laurie .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..My 12 Favorite WordPress Plugins for Bloggers =-.

When writing a article about visiting local water parks should I include myself in the article? Should i write it in third or first person?

William Goldman (novelist and award-winning screenwriter of Harper, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hot Rock, Marathon Man, All the President’s Men, A Bridge Too Far, The Princess Bride, Misery, and other films) summed up in his memoirs something about Hollywood that screenwriters should keep in mind: “Nobody knows anything.”

I suspect that applies to other forms of writing, too. Moral of the story: study, learn and then have confidence in what you write because nobody knows anything!

Very nice article, and I’m thrilled to have The Shy Writer at the top. Much appreciated.

Hope Clark Fundsforwriters.com

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